Grand Coulee Dam


The Grand Coulee Dam, one of the largest concrete structures in the world, was undertaken as a New Deal project to provide water for irrigating more than 500,000 acres of farmland in the Columbia River Basin. On July 16, 1933, an enthusiastic crowd of 3,000 witnessed the first stake being driven into place, initiating the greatest engineering endeavor yet undertaken. More than 8,000 workers labored on the project, which was completed in 1942. In addition to its irrigation role, the Grand Coulee Dam has the largest power-producing capacity in the U.S. and is the third largest producer of electricity in the world.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil, Electrical
Topic(s):Electricity
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The dam is almost a mile long and 46 stories tall. It contains nearly 12 million cubic yards of concrete; enough to build a sidewalk 4 feet wide and 4 inches thick twice around the equator. During construction, a world record for pouring concrete was achieved: More than 20 thousand cubic yards of concrete was placed in one 24-hour period.
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